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Monday 12 February 2018

Light Touch 2018 - The Kitchen Whatnot

Hi my darlings.  Hope you're keeping fit and healthy.  I really hope you're not down with the nasty flu virus that seems to be all around us this year.  So many have come down with it and they have my sympathy.  We only have flu once or twice  during our lives, fortunately, and when it hits us we certainly know that we have the full-blown flu, eh.

I stayed indoors most of the weekend, monitoring the breaks in the rainy weather for the briefest of walks around the block.  I find that this time of year, I'm not looking for scenic, it's too cold and wet for that.  I just was some fresh air in my sinuses and a stretch of the old arthritic legs.  A quick walk around the hood is the fix I need.  Which makes this an ideal time for those little jobs around the house.

I do love how kind I have been to myself so far this year.
You may recall that I'm on a journey of little life improvements, taking a light touch to the challenges I meet.  I'm not beating myself up with huge amounts of work and tight deadlines, like I've done previously.  A light touch approach has a chance of success, at least for me.  So I'm keeping the jobs bite-sized and allowing myself the whole of the year to complete them all. 
It's a win-win.  I'm being kind to myself AND I'm setting myself up for success with this approach.

I've gone around the house, identifying the little improvements that could make life nicer, more pleasant, more organised.  Then I'm updating my list as I complete tasks.  So satisfying.

At the weekend I light-touched this corner of the kitchen.

It's a very useful old "whatnot" from Ikea.  I don't know what else to call it.

It stores my spices and herbs, sugars and rice.  I use it EVERY day.   I loved the exposed dove-tail joints, but it added yet another type of wood to the kitchen and that was one wood too far, it needed reining in.  So I emptied it all out, scrubbed the boxes and washed all the spice jars and bottles.  (I wash the glass "jugs" each time I refill them).

Then I gave it a couple of coats of paint.  Fortunately, I still had a little bit of paint left from when we painted the kitchen units in Farrow & Ball's Slipper Satin, back in 2010.
Within the blink of an eye the whatnot was back in place and delivering on usefulness again.

It's home is the hot beverage area, the place where the kettle and mugs hang out, along with the Ovaltine, Horlicks, teas and coffees and coffee mate.  You will notice from that list that we now enjoy "milky drinks" at bedtime.  I think that makes me officially old, even more than the grey hair! 

TP started on the Horlicks to help his insomnia (it's working, BTW!) and I started to realise what a nice little ritual it was, having a milky drink in bed.  Mine's the malty Ovaltine which I drank as a child; it's the "add water" type as 1) I don't like the richness of hot milk and 2) I'm not too good latterly with milk generally and I don't know how it would work warming up my soya milk.  Any experiences you can share on that, readers?

OK, I've fessed up to it now - my name is The Pout and I like having hot milky drinks at bedtime!
Do you have milky drinks at bedtime?  Have you got to that stage in life yet?

Oh how I digress.  Let's get back to the whatnot.  It also stores the truly huge mugs, the ones that would totally dominate the mugs cupboard and shove aside all lesser mugs.
So these big bruisers have their own space, neatly tucked on top the whatnot for ease of use through the day.

I thought I'd introduce you to them formally today, as I'm absolutely smitten by them.
I fell for the Magda from Habitat the instant I saw it.  I adored the shape and this colour.  

They come in stripes and spots too.   I'm a stripey sort of gal so I went for the stripes too.  I didn't expect them to turn out quite so big though, but hey ho, fortunately I like my coffee big!
These beauts were on my 2016 Birthday/Christmas list but weren't picked by anyone.  'Aver, occasionally Habitat marks them down substantially from £8, but only for the briefest of periods, so I "stalked" these mugs and swooped sometime last year when I spotted the discount.  So pleased that I did, they are indeed generously sized (massive!) and perfect for those who like their coffee BIG.  If you do too, I suggest you start stalking the Habitat site.  Now!

Stop the bossing and the digressing, Pout, back to your Light Touch.  Please!

OK, so now that I see the finished result I'm so pleased I went the painting route.  The whatnot doesn't fight with the woods of the countertop and floor.  This small tweak of just a couple of hours has made such a difference to this little area of the kitchen.   
It's lightened up the dark corner.   
It now looks like it was planned with the kitchen (it wasn't!). Sometimes all it takes is a little splosh of paint to make a big difference.

Yup.  Another successful Light Touch for 2018.

Have you been doing any home improvements lately?
Maybe you've made exciting big changes, like dear Vronni who's installed a multi-fuel stove and new windows and doors in the last few weeks.
Maybe you've been making little changes, just a moment's work, like my whatnot painting?
I'd love to hear.

A la perchoine.


  1. So nice of your man to spruce up your whatnot spot! I would literally be digging in there everyday. Those big ole mugs would have my heart too! Now if we could just share some hot bevis out of them some dreary afternoon cause you’re the sunshine inside!

    1. Oh dear Andrea, it was I who did the sprucing up! My man's busy building shelves like a man possessed, using up all the wood we found up in the loft recently! Love the idea of us bevvying up with the milky drinks ... then availing ourselves of your glam facilities! Oh how I am loving your new home reveals, yours is definitely the chateau over the pink rainbow! Hugs, x

  2. Love the mugs. Was shopping for a red one today but no luck! I'm visiting from the Gardener's Cottage.

    1. So pleased you popped over via the lovely Janet! The mugs get my heart a-fluttering still! Hope you're lucky with your red mug quest. Hugs to you, Sue, x.

  3. Well that turned out cute as can be. And no wonder you fell hard for those mugs. They are so cute. A big cup of coffee is perfect on a rainy day. Happy Monday!

    1. Aw thanks, Lisa and yup, those mugs upgrade plain coffee to something rather special. Have a footsie-footsie Tuesday, sweet lady, x.

  4. I love your little storage unit I have never seen one like that before.

    1. Glad you like it, Polly, it's v. old standard Ikea issue but I reckon this one is the Duracell of kitchen storage, it doesn't age or show signs of any wear. Hugs, x.

  5. Kudos to you and our light touch. It's brilliant you know, because small changes are more likely to become the habits we keep and part of our lifestyle. Like eating healthier and making swaps like choosing lower calorie foods over higher ones. I was a Weight Watchers leader for 15 years and I always told my group that those small and steady changes were the best ones. So your light touch method makes perfect sense to me!
    Sprucing up your kitchen with your whatnot organizer is so clever - I love something that is not only functional but aesthetically pleasing as well!
    Go for it Pout, you and the light touch, I'm cheering you on - wine in hand, lol!

    1. Oh sista, you totally get this, eh? And only you and I would want a humble utility spice organiser to deliver on aesthetics too!!! I'm applying Light Touch to so many areas of my life right now .. including wine! I found your WW story most interesting, thanks for sharing.
      Tuesday hugs, x

  6. You've done a lovely job on the what not, Mary! What useful items they are. I have a three drawer unit from Ikea which I stained green years ago and I use it for my crochet patterns and paraphernalia...

    Just to let you know, I think there is a problem with your comment on my most recent post. It appeared in my google notifications - and thank you for your very kind words - but it hasn't appeared in the comments section of my blog! I don't know why; only that the comments in 'Blogger' are notoriously iffy.

    Roll on Spring!

    1. Sometimes really all it does take is a lick of colour, eh. Have you come across Ikea Hacks on Pinterest? So interesting the ideas people come up with.
      Have you tried looking in your Spam box? I had similar probs a few weeks ago and found a load of comments in there.
      Roll on Spring, indeed. How I need it!
      Hugs, x.

  7. Thanks, Vronni, these drawer units really are so useful for a myriad of purposes.
    Oh that comments thing happened to me recently, then a few days ago I found a whole load of comments in Spam and unspammed them, then had to respond to comments from several weeks ago. Made me appear slovenly!
    Hugs, my darling, x.

  8. You've reminded me how lovely milky drinks are at bedtime. I'm partial to Horlicks myself. Well done with the whatnot. I have some jobs that need doing but I think I may need to find a handyman. Mr M is hard to press into service.

    1. Oh Gail, aren't those milky drinks comforting? I feel I should be wearing stripey PJs and carry a hot water bottle up to bed!
      It's the little jobs that are so difficult to get done if you have to look outside the home. And when you're working, there is never much time to fix the litte things and I guess Mr Mutton's non-work time is stretched to the limit already. Good luck with your handyman search. Hugs for the week, x.